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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.
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Budget authority and executive titles come in for scrutiny in IT reform debate

January 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government chief information officers without authority over their agencies’ technology spending are like “toothless tigers,” former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he once chaired. The committee’s current chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to introduce legislation this Congress that would give...

Ombudsman helps keep the peace during the FOIA process

January 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When things go sour between an agency’s Freedom of Information office and someone seeking documents, the problem is as likely to be a communication breakdown as it is to be about differing interpretations of FOIA law, open government officials said Thursday. That’s where the Office of Government Information Services, a...

FOIA Online gets mixed marks at three months

January 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new digital system for managing Freedom of Information Act requests to the Commerce Department and a handful of other federal agencies deserves an A+ for making it easier to file FOIAs, Amy Bennett, assistant director of the transparency group Open The Government, said on Thursday. FOIA Online deserves a...

CIO Council to agency IT shops: Get smart on social media and open government

January 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. Every federal agency’s information technology shop should include workers with expertise in social media, open government and cloud computing. That's according to new guidance from the federal Chief Information Officers Council. The updated Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives released by the council Thursday said...

New tactics emerge on We the People

January 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Is We the People an organizing tool or a communication tool? That’s a question I’m still trying to figure out more than 16 months after the White House petition site launched and in the wake of a number of high profile petitions and responses (read: secession and gun control) in...

Innovation fellows help you navigate the federal Web

January 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A team of Presidential Innovation Fellows tasked with making the federal Web presence more navigable launched the beta version of a new toolbar Wednesday focused on doing just that. The MyGov Discovery Bar will slide into view when users reach the bottom of a federal Web page suggesting related government...

White House raises We the People response threshold to 100,000 signatures

January 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House raised the threshold for petitioners on its We the People website to receive an official administration response from 25,000 to 100,000 signatures late Tuesday. The move comes a few days after the administration responded to several petitions calling for states to secede from the union in the...

Government data goes public

January 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When the real estate sites Trulia and Zillow both made initial public offerings this summer it was more than just a victory for the two companies, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Tuesday. It was also a victory for the government data that underlies those two sites, he said...

Your mama’s data’s so big…

January 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Steven VanRoekel opened his keynote address at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cloud and big data conference Tuesday morning with a setup but no punchline. The federal Chief Information Officer asked his staff for an opening joke as they were driving to the event, but “your mama’s data’s...

When We the People talk it’s not always pretty

January 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The flood of petitions advocating secession that flowed into the White House after President Obama’s November reelection were not the most constructive use of the administration’s public engagement website We the People. Directly engaging the public, however, is a messy business that requires dealing with a lot of loud people...

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